Hemi-Powered: 1979 Chrysler Cordoba

1979 Chrysler 300

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The story behind this Chrysler 300 is a strange one. Supposedly, a dealership in North Dakota sold it as a new car in 2002. The next owner then promptly installed a fuel injected 472 Hemi and high performance transmission. Then in an even stranger turn of events, the car was parked outside in 2009. Sounds like a sad story if you ask me! The seller claims the interior still smells like new and that both of the zero mile engines are included in the sale. What a shame that they just let it sit outside though! Anyway, it’s listed here on eBay and the auction ends in a few hours. Do you think the claims are true or is this just a tall tale?

300 Interior

The red leather interior does look cherry, but this story just seems too crazy to be true. Could have this car really sat on a dealer’s lot for 23 years?

Original Invoice

The invoice does show that it sold new with 53 miles for $17,500… in 2002.

472 Hemi

And there’s the 472 Hemi. What a monster of an engine! Someone dumped a ton of money into this thing, so it makes you wonder why on earth they would just park it in their backyard.

Window Sticker

The window sticker is still in place and it shows us that this Cordoba is fitted with the 300 package – which included a white exterior, 300 style grill, and 360 V8. In low-mileage form this would have been a pretty desirable car, so it’s a shame that the owner messed with things and then left it out back to rot. The story seems far fetched, but do you think it’s all true?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Brad Huston

    I wonder why the leather hasn’t faded an the dash hasn’t cracked if outside that long.

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    • CharlieG

      I tarped and blocked up the cars that I owned if they had to sit outside the building while I was working on another or needed the room for a big house project.

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    • Stephen

      It’s that “Corinthian Leather” Ricardo Montelban was raving about, that’s why!

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      • Tony Carter

        No electric windows or was this a base model for the Cordoba ??

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      • Russ

        This looks like a ‘300’ model of the Cordoba – which was not in the same universe with a real 300 of years gone by. It wasn’t a base model though I guess it could be ordered however you wanted it. A friend of my brothers bought one new but wasn’t crazy about it and got rid of it. Sort of a shame to put that amazing 472 Hemi into that rather tacky version of the Cordoba. I’d rather see it in a regular Cordoba (or a Dodge Magnum) that’s all black with nice wheels, all very low-key.

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  2. cyclemikey

    It’s not really what I’d call far-fetched, and he’s got documentation It’s just one of those ‘best laid plans…’ stories.

    You’d have to really want this, but on the other hand it probably wouldn’t be very hard to bring it back, either stock or as fitted out. As they say, there’s a butt for every seat.

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  3. jaygryph

    I would rock it like it sits. Well, a bath, tune up and some detail work, but talk about a sleeper.

    That’s my kind of insanity.

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  4. JW454

    I think I’d repower it with the original 360 drive train and use the Hemi and transmission for another project I have sitting here.

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  5. PaulG

    I agree w/ jaygryph, but the real value here is the Hemi and trans.
    Nice that it comes w/ the original too.
    Plus soft Corinthian red leather!

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  6. Blindmarc

    I saw this last week, and sent it to an old friend….he wrote back “what a waste of a hemi”. And we’re both mopar freaks.

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  7. RT

    Fuel Injected?

    That stock air cleaner and Lean Burn computer sure fit awfully clean to have some type of throttle body fuel injection of unknown origin under it.

    That looks like a traditional Mopar B/RB intake also from what the seller allows to be seen. The Mopar recommended carburetor for the 472 Crate Hemi is a 850 vacuum secondary Holley (I looked it up) and comes with intake for such. Does this person even know what ‘fuel injection’ is? Fitting fuel injection to this back in 2002ish and getting it to work right……that would have been some fitting alright.

    I can think of a whole bunch of reasons it was parked….and none of them are good!

    Caveat Emptor….and how.

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    • moosie Craig

      Apparently it has a Holley system ( Throttle Body ) on it that fits a carb. type manifold & as such air cleaners will fit it also.

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  8. Axeltrap

    I wonder if the original dealer/owner stored it away expecting it to be a “Future Classic” hence 53 miles?

    Looking at the Ebay listing there are some questions on the title status, its listed as clear but the seller says you only need a bill of sale in NY. Then yesterday he added that he found a fax of the bill of sale.

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    • George

      If you want to drive it on the road, but you need more than the bill of sale. A car in New York starting with 1973 has a title. Prior to that, you sign the registration card.

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  9. DAN


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  10. Luke Fitzgerald

    Jim Gesswein always has low mileage stuff – and he a noted mopar nut – finding all types of goodies in SD – my guess somebody owed somebody / somebody ran out of money / somebody died – hope somebody buys it and thrashes the living daylights out of it

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  11. Steve

    I can’t think of Cordoba without hearing Ricardo Montalban’s voice saying “rich, Corinthian leather!” Didn’t care for these cars then, don’t now… even with a monster hemi.

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    • Russ

      I like the Cordoba for what it is supposed to be – a personal ‘luxury’ car. Give me one with all the toys, nice leather buckets, black inside for sure, and a 2 bbl big block for smooth effortless cruising. Making one of these into some kind of frankenstein street machine is just so misguided.

      Like 0
  12. James

    This is clone the real 300’s had 300 in left and right salon windows in rear. and Emblem in hood…..

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  13. Mark S

    I like this car I’d put it back to nearly stock ( a little let’s say work on the engine ). I’d detail it and ocasionaly drive it and enjoy sitting in a full sized car like this or the aspen post nice find.

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  14. M B

    When these cars came out, it was at the wrong time when gas prices were headed upward. As much of a “factory hot rod” as they were (actually, police car in civilian clothing is more like it), they didn’t sell and many DID sit on lots for long periods.

    The car was unique and one of the hottest cars of its time, except for some Corvettes and the ‘Lil Red Express Truck”. They were one of the FEW cars with true dual exhaust/dual cat converters in that time of (GM) dual outlet mufflers.

    Unfortunately, as neat as these cars were, not a lot of collectible value. Uniqueness is the main attribute. I have a set of Magnum (Dodge Magnum, that is) 15×7 wheels that’d look great on that car (replacing the original aluminum 15x6s). AND, it’s real value would be more in a “time capsule” museum piece that would deteriorate if used in normal service.

    Gotta be LOTS of stores, somewhere!

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  15. cj32769

    Perhaps dementia got the best of the buyer.

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  16. Prowler

    Sounds like magic beans to me

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  17. SquirrelBAIT

    That’s not a Cordoba. It’s a far more rare Chrysler 300. It may very well have come to the dealer with the Hemi installed by the up fitters.

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    • Utes

      Did you read the story? How about the 3rd sentence?

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  18. DAN

    went for $13,600………..might be a god buy if that hemi is good

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  19. Miguel

    The buyer in 2002 paid $17,500 for a $500.00 car? Does anybody remember what you could get these for back in 2002? The fact that it had only 53 miles on it just means all the rubber in the car had to be replaced and the engine was probably bad as well, hence the engine exchange.

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    • Mark S

      Wether or not an engine is any good has a few factors. This one has no wear which is the most important thing here it is still new as long as there was oil in it and a dry place to store it it will be fine. As for seal and gaskets you’ll find most are still good, it is heat not sitting that hardens up neoprene.

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  20. James

    I grew up in the town that Gesswein Motors is located. He is a well-known classic Mopar/Viper collector. He knew the value of these low mileage, low production mopars before anyone and has been pulling them in from all over the country since the late 70s. I drove an old beat up hemi orange 71 Charger 500 in high school, so he’d let me look at some of the things he had his guys working on…WOW! I’ll never forget when that brand new 1992 Viper (he got his before Jay Leno) backed out of the orange semi-trailer and drove around the parking lot! Chances are, he had this car in one of his warehouses and decided to sell to someone who thought it was worth it. He is, after all, a business man.

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    • Russ

      You mentioned the Viper… can anyone believe that those have been in production now for almost a quarter century?
      I started high school in 1970; a quarter century before that was The Andrews Sisters, World War 2 / atomic bomb / Hitler; and cars with flathead engines where an automatic transmission was a newfangled thing.

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  21. kevin

    This car sold for $27,500.00 at Barrett Jackson in Las Vegas – I love it!

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  22. Mike

    Barret Jackson seems very shady, at the very least unethical. They make no mention that this car possibly sat outside uncovered aging in the elements for possibly 6-7 years. On their page for this car they say it was “placed in storage”, and then taken “out” of storage in 2016. Lol, I guess storage is whatever your interpretation of “storage is”. Obviously they are being 100% misleading, as placing something “in” storage would make you think it was placed “in” a building, not “in” the backyard . You can hide a lot of stuff with detailing. I would hate to be the person who spent my money on this car and didn’t know it was exposed to the elements that long. The sun takes years of life off a lot of the plastics, leather, vinyls, etc. even if they look good after detailing them with chemicals. Bottom line is, they shouldn’t make it seem like this car was pampered and garaged all of its life.

    After it was freshened up by the new owners selling it at Barret Jackson, looking at it on the web, that is what you would awesome after reading that it had been placed “in” storage. Barret Jackson should make no such claims about things they can’t prove. Seems like fraud, I would sue.

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